Press Room

DiMuto Breaks Into US Market Through Deal With Central Valley Citrus Packer Fancher Creek Packing

 

 

DiMuto Produce September 23, 2019

Singapore – DiMuto, a tech-based trade solutions platform that provides end-to-end supply chain visibility for global businesses, has expanded its footprint into the USA by closing a deal with major citrus packer Fancher Creek Packing (“Fancher Creek”). Using DiMuto’s Track & Trace blockchain solution, Fancher Creek will tag citrus fruits, including oranges, lemons and grapefruits, from the US to various parts of Asia.

Located in Visalia, within the agricultural San Joaquin Valley, Fancher Creek’s packing facility is strategically situated in the heart of California’s Central Valley, which grows over 250 different crops, with an estimated value of US$17 billion, annually. Central Valley is also responsible for a quarter of the food production in the US. Fancher Creek works with growers, packers and shippers to provide citrus produce to the rest of the US, as well as overseas markets, such as Japan and Korea. Additionally, DiMuto will aid Fancher Creek in expanding its distribution channels by penetrating Southeast Asian markets in DiMuto’s trade network, including Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

As part of its trade solutions, DiMuto’s Track & Trace blockchain technology is a low-cost, effective solution that seamlessly integrates with supply chain workflows and existing systems to create traceability and accountability for each fruit, from farms, factories, cold chain to distribution channels and end consumers. Every single fruit is tagged with a QR label, photographed and tracked at each stage of the supply chain to provide end-to-end, 24/7 visibility from farm to fork. Data is encrypted and loaded onto the distributed digital ledger, enabling verified documents and data to be shared on a single platform, reducing trade disputes over quality and strengthening trust amongst all parties.

Mr Gary Loh, DiMuto’s Founder and Chairman, said, “We are tremendously excited to be working with Fancher Creek to break into the US market and establish a presence in California’s Central Valley. The adoption of our technology by more players across the global produce industry underscores the scalability of our all-in-one trade management platform. It is platform-agnostic and interoperable among the different blockchain systems currently used by the big international retailers, and we envisage a faster rate of market adoption for our trade solution as retailers are increasingly requesting for suppliers to go on the blockchain to complete end-to-end traceability. As such, DiMuto ensures that we meet the needs of our global clients by adhering to internationally-accepted and business-led standards.”

DiMuto was most recently inducted into the GS1 Singapore Solution Partner Program (“SPP”) to offer blockchained trade management solutions for member companies of the not-for-profit Global Standards 1 (“GS1”) based in Belgium. As part of the SPP, DiMuto’s solutions can be easily adopted by GS1 supply chain players all over the world for their trade management needs

https://www.perishablenews.com/produce/dimuto-breaks-into-us-market-through-deal-with-central-valley-citrus-packer-fancher-creek-packing/

Liberty High School working on new Career Technical Education facility

MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) — In the Madera Ranchos, off Avenue 12 something big is coming.

A small sign is sharing the news, “Coming Soon; the new Liberty High School Engineering, Agri-Science and Farming Academy,” known as LEAF.

It will be the first facility of its kind in the Golden Valley School District.

Seven new classrooms, four barns for livestock, three shops and greenhouses are just some of the major additions coming with the expansion. All of it benefiting the agriculture department, community and beyond.

“It is just a culmination of everything coming together and that shows that when this community is behind something, it ends up happening,” said Golden Valley School District superintendent Rodney Wallace.

Ag teacher and department head Anne Deniz said currently they are in need of more resources to meet student needs. She is a former Liberty High student and according to her, one of the biggest demands is space for livestock.

“When we have our livestock animals at students homes or they are sharing homes with each other it can be a five, six, eight hour day get to them all and weigh and see them and check up on those projects,” she said.

The new facility also means more classroom space and for Mrs.Deniz that’s a big deal. One of her classes involves making floral arrangements, her students also run a flower shop.

Currently, the school has about 560 students and only three Agricultural teachers. Ag is big in the community and Principal Felipe Piedra said the new facility will create new opportunities.

“We are pretty excited about that for our kids to be able to get some training and education here locally and preparing them for the bigger world,” he said.

The LEAF academy was funded through bond and grant dollars. Initially, it was slated to be completed in 2025, but it is all coming together much sooner in the year 2022. The district expects to break ground sometime next year.

https://abc30.com/education/liberty-high-school-working-on-new-career-technical-education-facility-/5450336/

State, local leaders tour Merced Unified’s CTE programs

 

 

By Sara Sandrik

Monday, September 16, 2019 8:27PM

ATWATER, Calif. (KFSN) — Atwater High School has the largest ag education program in the country, with everything from floral design to diesel mechanics.

Monday, students and teachers had a chance to show why they’ve been successful and what state leaders can do to support districts across California.

From welding to woodwork to horticulture and more, Atwater High had a chance to show State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond how students here are improving their academic and career skills.

“It’s really great exposure and getting all these higher officials who kind of control what we have as a school and what we do as students to really appreciate our program and what just students can do,” said high school senior Sophia Rhodes.

Thurmond was invited to the Merced Union High School District by Assemblymember Adam Gray and was joined on this tour by State Board of Education Member Ting Sun, Senator Anna Caballero, and several local leaders.

“All this equipment that you see that you would expect adults to be driving and getting paid, no these are run by students,” said Dave Gossman.

“I hope to get some ideas today as we walk around and talk to the local experts, and I’m really proud of Merced, the Central Valley, agriculture, and the Merced Union High School District, for all the great things we’re doing,” Gray said.

The district has been at the forefront of the statewide shift toward career technical education and currently offers more than 30 different CTE pathways.

Starting with the class of 2020, all MUHSD students are required to complete at least two CTE courses.

“It’s important for our college-bound students so they understand and get a little exposure to industry before they go to college so they might have a better idea of why they’re going to college,” said Superintendent Alan Peterson. “And then students who are going into the work world, we want them to leave us with those skills.”

Thurmond spoke about the recent increases in state funding for public education and CTE but says more can be done to ensure students are ready for bright futures in high demand fields.

“This is a great opportunity. Every student in our state should have this opportunity, and I’m committed to oing everything I can to make sure that happens,” he said.

https://abc30.com/education/state-local-leaders-tour-merced-unifieds-cte-programs/5544604/

Multi-million dollar project aims to clean Fresno’s air, improve neighborhoods

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — From the soon-to-be cleaner air, you can see workers installing a landmark.

The solar panels on a southwest Fresno home represent the first step in a multi-million dollar journey for the city of Fresno.

“It feels good to see the first project get off the ground and benefit residents, but the best part is it’s going to allow residents to continue having affordable living in Fresno,” said City Councilmember Miguel Arias.

Jose Ledesma owns the home, but his family’s budget was getting squeezed by the high cost of electricity.

He says that in the past he’s had very high utility bills and he anticipates the installation of solar it’s going to drop significantly.

GRID Alternatives installed the panels Saturday with money from a Transformative Climate Communities grant.

“The work that we do as an organization really affects people, planet, and employment,” said Jesse Arreguin. “It’s a win-win all the way around.”

The company is finding people who could use solar panels to save money in three zip codes — 93706, 93721, 93701 — in southwest, southeast, and downtown Fresno.

They’re training people to install them, and they’re cutting down on fossil fuel use.

The company has $1.9 million in grant money for residential installations, so they plan to do this about 60 more times, including some bigger projects like apartment complexes.

Ledesma’s home is the first domino to fall in a huge $200 million Transform Fresno plan.

“People are going to start seeing a lot of groundbreakings, a lot of shovel ceremonies and that’s a good thing because the money is being put back into the community the way it was intended,” Arias said.

An affordable housing project in Chinatown, a community garden, and a bike trail should also get started soon.

But the biggest project will be the West Fresno Center, a satellite campus of Fresno City College in southwest Fresno.

The city has five years to finish the projects if it wants to cash in on state grants to cover about a third of the total costs.

CSUB ranks among top in country in science field salaries

Cal State Bakersfield is in the top tier for salaries in the physical and life sciences in the country, according to a new report by PayScale.

The 2019-20 College Salary Report ranked CSUB at 75 of 543 physical and life science programs evaluated for the report, putting the university in the top 14 percent. Statewide, CSUB placed third in this area within the CSU system.

“Our graduates earn top salaries because employers recognize the value of a CSUB education,” said Kathleen Madden, dean of the School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering. “We are rightly proud of the role that we play in changing the future for our students while meeting the STEM workforce needs of Kern County and beyond.”

The annual PayScale report is based on the salaries of 3.5 million college graduates.

CSUB ranks among top in country in science field salaries

Fresno-Clovis area sees hotel building boom

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — The Fresno-Clovis area is in the midst of a hotel building boom that will result in 2,000 more available rooms when current projects are complete.

Four new hotel properties have recently opened up. Eight more were either in the process of being built or planned.

Fresno-Clovis Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Layla Forstedt cited the area’s high occupancy rate as one reason why more hotels were going up.

“In the 30 years of the hospitality industry for me, I’ve never seen an occupancy of 70% and that’s every single motel average of every hotel-motel,” Forstedt said.

In Clovis, the occupancy rate was even higher.

Clovis Economic Development Director Andy Haussler explained, “We’ve seen occupancy rates into the 90%, which basically means we are full and what we don’t want to have is our town not being able to accommodate someone.”

Action News caught up with Haussler across from Costco, where Hilton was building a new Home 2 Suites.

Down the way on Clovis Avenue, La Quinta has squeezed into a tight space by building up and opening a new hotel.

Crews were also preparing to build a new Courtyard Marriott on Shaw near the Sierra Vista Mall. Two other hotels are planned.

“With what we recently completed and the new rooms coming on-line it’s about 532 additional rooms. That about doubles our hotel room count in Clovis,” Haussler said.

Hyatt Place recently opened a brand new hotel not far from River Park. It is also located across from Kaiser Permanente.

The Valley has seen more people coming to various facilities for medical treatment. But local hotels have found sporting events fill rooms. The state track and field championships at Buchanan High resulted in 6,000 room nights alone.

“We’re the only city that has three CIF events. That’s track, swimming and diving and cross country,” Forstedt said.

More visitors to our local national parks have been staying over in Fresno County.

Fresno has also seen a lot more business travelers so the new hotels offer the area rooms to grow.

Bitwise’s ambitions go well beyond downtown Bakersfield

 

BY ROBERT PRICE rprice@bakersfield.com Sep 14, 2019

Today’s column was supposed to reveal precisely where Bitwise Industries, the coding-education, software development and coworking space innovator, intends to set up shop in Bakersfield.

It won’t. The principals aren’t ready to say it out loud. But I can tell you this: Bitwise, taking the first bold step from its home base in Fresno into the brick-and-mortar reality of a new market, won’t be leasing a unit in an industrial park.

Jake Soberal, co-founder and CEO of Bitwise Industries, is a believer in the real and symbolic advantages of occupying a downtown space. So Bitwise will, without question, move into the city’s central corridor, he reaffirmed. I’ll just add that it’s about as iconically central as one can get.

Why downtown? Because, said Soberal, whose breakfast I interrupted Friday at Eastchester’s Cafe Smitten, that’s where the energy is. The bustle, the coffee, the history, the microbrews, the patio-service granola, the sidewalks that actually have pedestrians.

Soberal, who co-founded Bitwise Industries six years ago with Irma Olguin, isn’t driven merely to infuse the tech-bereft economies of valley towns like Bakersfield with the energy of the state’s more established digital hubs. He is also about opening doors and changing cultures. “Developing vibrance,” is how he put it, in cities that could use more of it.

“We’re driven to a certain type of city — underdog cities,” Soberal told me. “There’s a whole band of cities like that across the country, and Bakersfield is one.”

Number one, to be specific. First in line. Soberal said he could see expanding into as many as 50 cities, places that, like Bakersfield, have both poverty and potential: Stockton; El Paso, Texas; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Ohio’s Rust Belt, to name four. “We want to go places where we feel we can make a difference,” he said.

That makes this Bakersfield foray doubly significant: Not only will Bitwise South be the first pod to pull away from the embrace of the mother ship, it also becomes a prototype for the company’s ambitious plan of expansion.

Fifty might sound like a lot, but Soberal could franchise out two a year and still not be eligible to draw Social Security by the time he hits his target. He opened Bitwise Industries when he was 27 and he’s still just 33.

The father of three, married 10 years, is a Fresno native. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, he obtained his juris doctorate at Western State University College of Law in Fullerton. He worked for two years as an intellectual property rights attorney — trademark protection and the like — before changing course. It’s not that he disliked the practice of law, however.

“I ran to something, not away from something,” he said.

His point of entry in Bakersfield was Austin and Anna Smith, “kindred spirits,” he called them, who have been active in downtown property development, digital diversification and the stay-in-Bakersfield movement that local millennials have so helpfully embarked upon.

One thing, of many, that these young, thoughtful advocates for Bakersfield have going for them is that the brightest of our homegrown need not go to San Francisco, the Silicon Valley or Los Angeles anymore to enjoy a non-oil, non-ag career. They can participate in the digital economy and buy a house right here for literally a third the price of a comparable home in San Jose.

That’s where Bitwise comes in. The company can provide “a venue, a dot on the map,” as Soberal put it, where small startups can occupy shared-resource bases of operation that allow their principals to interact with like-minded entrepreneurs.

Bakersfield, with its strong oil- and agriculture-based economy, needs a third strong industry, Soberal said.

“Oil and ag are vulnerable industries, with a lot of volatility,” he said. “High highs and low lows.

“If you ever see a stool without three legs,” he said, quoting a mentor, “don’t sit on it. Makes sense for stools and cities both.”

Since day one, Bitwise has taken a three-legged approach to its business model as well: It runs a coding school called Geekwise Academy that operates independently and will partner with Bakersfield College as well; a real estate operation that has 200,000 square feet of workspace in Fresno and has plans for at least 50,000 in Bakersfield; and a custom software business called Shift3 Technologies, which hires Geekwise graduates and others for commercial undertakings.

“Our hypothesis is that any one of those alone would not move the needle,” Soberal said, “but all three can.”

Bitwise has fostered or attracted some 200 tech companies to its startup offices in Fresno. Soberal said the initial goal for Bakersfield is 24.

But where, exactly? We won’t know until perhaps November. But rest assured it will be within walking distance of coffee, microbrew, patio-service granola and sidewalks that actually have pedestrians.

https://www.bakersfield.com/columnists/robert-price/robert-price-bitwise-s-ambitions-go-well-beyond-downtown-bakersfield/article_ffc3c880-d663-11e9-b323-fb55c2017386.html

Signed State Budget Delivers Millions for the Valley

Friday, June 28, 2019

Funding included for Career Technical Education, Safe Drinking Water, and Valley Fever

SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) issued the following statement regarding Governor Newsom’s signing of the 2019-2020 state budget:

“Governor Newsom’s first state budget reinforces California’s commitment to supporting working families, small businesses, students, seniors and veterans.  This budget builds record reserves for a rainy day and pays off debt while doing more to shore up working families and tackle challenges of affordability and quality of life,” said Assemblymember Salas.  “This budget invests in the Central Valley by addressing the healthcare workforce shortage, allocating $2 million to support valley fever research and providing millions to address safe and affordable drinking water.  The budget also includes funding to help train, grow, and support our workforce and students by expanding workforce development and youth leadership programs.”

State Budget Includes:

  • $2 million to the Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical Center to support valley fever research
  • $12.5 million General Fund one-time for safe drinking water in the Central Valley, including $2.5 million to bring communities like Arvin into compliance with safe drinking water standards
  • $705,000 for three Independent Living Centers (ILC), including ILC of Kern County
  • $40,000 for the California Central Valley Economic Development Corporation
  • $1.1 million for planning of Bakersfield College Delano Center: Learning Resource Center Multi-Purpose Building
  • $1.6 million for planning of West Hills College Lemoore Instructional Center Phase 1
  • $12 million over three years for the Youth and Family Civic Engagement Initiative

 

The main budget bill – AB 74 – can be found here.

Valley Fever Funding

“We are grateful to Assemblymember Rudy Salas for authoring this legislation and bringing critical funding to Kern County – where it is needed the most.  As Medical Director for the Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical, I am honored to lead our clinical team as we continue our mission to increase education and awareness for the public, patients and health care providers; provide the best patient care available and promote research that includes epidemiology, clinical drug development, prevention, immunology and immunizations.  The $2 million in funding will directly help the patients we care for every day at the Valley Fever Institute.” – Royce Johnson, M.D., Medical Director of the Kern Medical Valley Fever Institute and Chief of Infectious Diseases at Kern Medical

“Every day at the Valley Fever Institute we care for patients fighting Valley Fever.  The $2 million will benefit countless people in Kern County and beyond.  We are grateful to our dedicated legislators for supporting this critical funding and working with us to ensure the health of our community.” – Russell V. Judd, CEO, Kern Medical

 

Dolores Huerta and Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center’s Youth and Family Civic Engagement Initiative (YFCEI)

“We are grateful that the legislature and the Governor have made it possible to expand the Dolores Huerta Foundation and Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center’s Youth and Family Civic Engagement Initiative (YFCEI) to reach more underserved youth throughout California, with a focus on youth engagement, youth empowerment and leadership development utilizing the philosophies of non-violence advocates.  The leadership training that the youth receive will be magnified tenfold as the youth take the lessons learned to address and resolve the many issues that they are confronted with in their respective communities.” – Dolores Huerta

This funding supports the YFCEI’s efforts to serve young people in 12 counties throughout California over the next three years.

 

Independent Living Centers of Kern County

“We want to express our gratitude and dedication to Assemblymember Salas and his staff for the work they have done to maintain equal base rate funding of all Independent Living Centers in CA.  These continued funds come directly to Kern County and stay in Kern County to support the needs of all people with disabilities.” – Jimmie Soto, Executive Director of the Independent Living Center of Kern County

 

California Central Valley Economic Development Corporation

“The California Central Valley Economic Development Corporation is excited about this unique investment to further business development in the Central Valley.  We greatly appreciate Assemblyman Salas championing this effort, and look forward to the development of new and expanding businesses as a result of this program.” – Lance Lippincott, CEO and President of Kings County Economic Development Corporation

We anticipate additional funding for the Central Valley as the Governor signs the remaining budget trailer bills.

https://a32.asmdc.org/press-releases/20190628-signed-state-budget-delivers-millions-valley

Fresno State again ranks 3rd in U.S. News for graduate-rate performance

Courtesy of Fresno State News; by BoNhia Lee

For the third consecutive year, Fresno State has placed among the top three best public universities for graduate-rate performance in U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 Best College rankings issued today.

Fresno State scored third-highest among public national universities and was No. 4 overall in the national universities category, improving from the No. 5 spot last year.

The graduation-rate performance category uses the University’s actual six-year graduation rate compared to predicted performance based on admissions data, school financial resources, the proportion of federal financial aid recipients who are first-generation, math and science orientations and the proportion of undergraduates receiving Pell grants.

The first-generation variable is new for this year’s rankings and gives schools more credit for their graduation rates when accomplished.

“At Fresno State, we believe that talent exists in every household,” said Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro. “These rankings show that, through educating and empowering our students to obtain an academic degree, we are unleashing this talent to prepare a new generation of bold leaders for the Central Valley, the state and beyond.”

Fresno State’s quality and affordable education also was reflected in other categories of the U.S. News and World Report rankings.

  • The University ranked No. 6 for having the least debt load at graduation among public national universities and No. 18 among all national universities. Forty-one percent of the students who graduated in 2019 will have an average debt of $15,772 compared to the national average student debt of $29,475.
  • Fresno State moved up to No. 101 in overall rankings for public universities compared to No. 112 last year. San Diego State University is the only other California State University campus ranked on the list at No. 68.
  • In the new social-mobility category measuring how well schools graduate students who receive federal Pell Grants, meaning they come from low- and medium-income households, Fresno State ranked No. 27 ahead of San Diego State, which came in No. 66.

Fresno State’s reclassification as a Carnegie doctoral university in 2016 means it joined the top research universities in the nation in rankings produced by the magazine. Fresno State offers doctoral degrees in nursing, physical therapy and educational leadership.

U.S. News and World Report evaluates campuses on multiple factors for its overall national ranking. The magazine gives the most weight to graduation and retention rates followed by faculty resources, academic reputation, financial resources, student excellence and alumni giving.

This year, the number of ranked universities grew as a result of changes in the Carnegie classifications. A slew of regional universities joined the national rankings category increasing the field of competition.

In other rankings

The U.S. News and World Report rankings follows last month’s announcement of Fresno State as No. 24 in Washington Monthly’s annual nationwide college rankings. The Washington D.C.-based magazine calls attention to colleges that best serve the community ranking institutions on social mobility, research and service.

This is the fourth straight year Fresno State has ranked in Washington Monthly’s top 25. Fresno State was the only California State University campus selected alongside six Ivy League institutions, including top-ranked Stanford University; six University of California campuses; and MIT on the list.

The University also ranked No. 35 in MONEY Magazine’s 50 Best Public Colleges rankings for 2019. Fresno State was one of 12 California State University campuses included in the top 50.

Note: If you would like to share this story on your social media accounts, please link to the news story on FresnoStateNews.com.

New construction company reopens in Lemoore

  • Hinds Reopening
The Lemoore Chamber of Commerce, members from the Lemoore City Council and residents from the public attended Thursday’s ribbon cutting.

LEMOORE — Hinds Construction Services, Inc. celebrated its grand reopening during a ribbon cutting Thursday at its new location in Lemoore.

The construction company was contracted out of Visalia until the owners, Tanya and Robert Hinds, decided to move the business back to Kings County in July.

“When we first started in 2017, we worked out of our house,” Tanya Hinds said. “But then we didn’t renew our contract with Lowe’s (in Visalia) and decided to open up an office in Lemoore, where we have always lived.”

The company’s calendar has already started to fill up with kitchen and bathroom remodels, which is a popular project in the residential areas in Hanford and Lemoore, Tanya Hinds said.

Hinds Construction Services, Inc. is also working with Naval Air Station Lemoore and is maintaining the base housing.

“We are happy to be here and look forward to growing,” Tanya Hinds said. “We pride ourselves in our quality of work and are excited for the future.”

The Lemoore Chamber of Commerce hosted the ribbon cutting with Hinds Construction Services and a taco lunch was provided. Members of the Lemoore City Council were also present for the ceremony.

Hinds Construction Services, Inc. resides on 1500 Enterprise Dr., Suite 303, in Lemoore. They are open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be reached at (559) 924-2795.